Well over 60% of Americans are either overweight or obese. Dieting and weight loss represents a very large business opportunity with fads popping up every couple of years that sweep the nation.
So what is a logical approach to losing weight that would help people lose weight and then keep it off? Over 95% of dieters gain back all of their lost weight within 5 years.
Most advice for losing weight revolves around calorie restrictions, exercise, and eating less fat. There are downsides to each, so a combination may help. Fat is truly not the enemy in dieting. Participants in the Framingham Heart Study who had the most intake of saturated fats also had the lowest cholesterols, weighed the least, and had the lowest incidence of coronary artery disease. Yet that is very common advice in dieting - cut out fat.
People think restricting calories will turn their bodies into eating up fat. But this is not what happens. The body starts eating up muscle instead. In order to properly reset the human metabolism into burning fat instead of muscle, the key is to take away sugar.
It is predominantly carbohydrates that break down into sugar and also stimulate the most insulin production, which may create body fat. Once sugar and carbohydrates intake is decreased sufficiently, the body can start utilizing fat as an energy source and appropriate weight loss ensues. Once this point is reached in fat utilization, patients can lose safely 2 to 3 pounds per week.
Reducing insulin levels is key to losing weight. Since insulin is a fat storing hormone and also creates fat, reducing it can be very effective in a dieting program. Since sugar is placed into fat cells by insulin and then created into fat, decreasing sugar intake will decrease this occurrence and also downgrade insulin production.
What this amounts to is a low carbohydrate diet. A significant amount of the weight loss programs in existence utilized this technique. The emphasis has switched from a low fat diet to a low carb diet. A low carb diet does not mean one can eat massive protein and not gain weight. Excess protein can be converted into sugar for fat storage and may backfire the whole diet plan.
Keeping the body hydrated is key, since over 50% of the body is water. Monitor the color of urine. If it's clear, the body is sufficiently hydrated. If it's yellow or darker, drink more water. Alcohol should be restricted. The body likes it for fuel, so it will go after it prior to fat. It will potentially sabotage an effective weight loss program.
Exercise alone is difficult as a technique, since it takes 3500 calories burned to lose a pound. But it's an effective adjunct along with helping reduce stress and excess adrenal hormones, which can then decrease insulin levels.
Maintaining weight loss is in some ways the most difficult part of the whole program, as over 95% of people gain their lost weight back within 5 years. Exercising, minimizing carbohydrate intake, and going on a bioidentical hormone replacement program will make sure the weight stays off.
Balancing your hormones will assist dramatically in helping patients lose weight and then being able to keep it off. Since the process of weight loss and maintenance is a life long process, making sure hormone levels aren't way off balance and exacerbating the problem may be a cornerstone in the approach to effective weight loss.